This is the last instalment about my experiences at the 2015 Indy 500. In the first two parts I described what it was like to be on the grid right before the start of the race and some of the people I met (including drivers) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In this final part, I thought I should probably mention the actual race!
Our seats were in the Northwest Vista, right on the apex of Turn 4, just before the start-finish straight. I couldn’t have asked for a better location for the 99th running of the Indy 500.
The view of the entry onto the start-finish straight from our seats in Turn 4
This panoramic shot exaggerates the curvature of Turn 4
(if you look closely, it also does strange things to the cars in the centre of the curve!)
It was a race full of excitement and thrills, and much of it happened on the track right in front of us. Here’s a blow-by-blow photographic replay of the main events of the race, from the perspective of those of us sat in Turn 4.
Before the race, we had a live message from the International Space Station (shame the sound didn’t work)…
… A flyover by two A10 Warthogs…
… And the release of at least a billion balloons!
The cars file past on one of their warm-up laps
Conor Daly’s car gives up the ghost before the race is even started
And we’re finally racing!
During the Pace Car session following a Lap 1 Turn 1 crash, Simona de Silverstro drives into the back of Juan Pablo Montoya, damaging his right rear bumper pod – Montoya drops to 30th after a pit stop to replace it
A pair of brave marshals recovering Montoya’s discarded bumper pod
We’re about to start racing again!
Scott Dixon, the pole sitter, is the early leader, followed by Tony Kanaan, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud
The lead swaps frequently, by this stage in the race the order is: Power, Pagenaud and Dixon – Montoya is up to a remarkable 4th after his earlier troubles and Kanaan rounds out the top five
Then Kanaan has a big shunt coming out of Turn 3, finally coming to a stop right in front of us
Tony Kanaan waves to the crowd to show he’s OK…
…The same can’t be said of his car
Montoya passes Charlie Kimball for 2nd and sets his sights on Scott Dixon and 1st place
Jack Hawksworth (the rightmost of the three crashing cars) tags Sebastian Saavedra (centre), who then rebounds off the wall into the path of Stefano Coletti (left)
Takuma Sato (#14) miraculously avoids Saavedra
Carbon fibre fragments fill the air as (L-R) Coletti, Saavedra and Hawksworth slide along the wall on the exit of Turn 4
Saavedra (left) and Hawksworth still sliding along the wall – notice the top of Colleti’s nosecone, with the number 4 on it, coming back down to Earth after the collision with Saavedra
Pippa Mann locks up all four wheels as she narrowly avoids becoming part of the accident
Amazing all three drivers are fine – Jack Hawksworth talks to a marshal after climbing out of his wrecked machine
Behind the Pace Car, the remaining competitors try to avoid the extensive debris field
At the restart, Dixon leads Power, leads Montoya
And there’s plenty of action further down the field
Montoya takes Power for the lead – it swaps back and forth several times before the chequered flag, but Montoya eventually comes out on top
From 30th to 1st – no wonder Montoya’s happy!
Juan Pablo Montoya, Winner of the 99th Indy 500, celebrating with his family and boss, Roger Penske
This post was inspired by the following photo challenges: Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge (from Cee’s Photography Blog), Michelle’s On The Way (from The Daily Post), and Nancy’s The Circle of Life (from Nancy Merrill Photography).
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